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The man behind Wikileaks

Like anyone in Washington, I love a good leak. And as a technofile, I especially love a good leak made possible by technology, particularly the anonymity created by the Internet. For the last few months, I've been very much into the web site Wikileaks.org. The site lets leakers slip out into the public everything from secret documents to memos to videos and beyond. Click on the link to submit a leak, and you get this message: "WikiLeaks accepts classified, censored or otherwise restricted material of political, diplomatic or ethical significance. WikiLeaks does not accept rumour, opinion or other kinds of first hand reporting or material that is already publicly available."

This week, the site has been in the news after posting what it described as "a classified US military video depicting the indiscriminate slaying of over a dozen people in the Iraqi suburb of New Baghdad -- including two Reuters news staff." The Twittersphere has been buzzing, as have journalists, military officials, and human rights groups.

My offering this morning, dear readers, is a fascinating profile from the new issue of Mother Jones of the man behind Wikileaks -- an Australian former hacker named Julian Assange. How old is he? What does he look like? Hard to say. David Kushner writes that Assange "lives like a man on the lam. He won't reveal his age— 'Why make it easy for the bastards?' He prefers talking on the phone instead of meeting in person, and seems to never use the same number twice. His voice is often hushed, and gaps fill the conversation, as if he's constantly checking over his shoulder. Like him, the organization behind his next-generation whistleblowing machine can also be maddeningly opaque."

It's quite a read.

By Michael S. Rosenwald  | April 8, 2010; 8:09 AM ET
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